Kihei is a town unlike any other. The feeling is laid back & the atmosphere is easy going. It is not uncommon for many residents here to have a scooter as their main form of transportation.
From watching the locals and tourists drive around on scooter rentals in maui, we have put together a list of 8 common mistakes to avoid with any scooter rental. We have built this list from our observations, reports of accidents & reports of scooter thefts.
Lock it or Lose it!
Scooter theft is a problem in paradise! Do not let this happen to you. Ensure your scooter is securely fastened to an unmovable object when leaving it behind. Scooter locks are included with any rental. Do not put full faith in only the steering wheel lock, scooters are lightweight and can easily be picked up!
Turn Signals, Check! Mirrors, Check!
Often we see people just hop on their scooters and take off. Very seldom do we see proper mirror and turn signal usage. On a scooter, you have very little protection; it is of dire importance that you make sure your blind spots are clear by using either a head or mirror check. Do not assume it’s safe to go because there is a bike path. Once you have checked and the coast is clear, click on your turn signal regardless if there is oncoming traffic or not.
Stay in Your Lane!
Line lines are on the road for a reason! Make sure to ride in the middle of your lane when driving down the Maui Roads. This will keep you in the safest position from oncoming vehicles and drivers that may pull out in front of you because they did not check their mirrors and signal correctly!
Lights out? Avoid the Flashlight trick
This is the newest trick we have seen and should not be replicated. In the extremely rare event that your headlights stop functioning, it is not safe or legal to place a flashlight in your mouth as a replacement. If the headlights stop working and it is dark outside, you cannot drive the scooter again until daylight. Note: Most scooters have 2-4 headlights, should one fail there will always be backups to cover our scooter rentals.
How Many Riders ya’ Got!?
Hit the brakes! If you have more than 2 people, you will need multiple scooter rentals. 49cc scooters can only carry 1 person at a time. We have seen as many as 5 people crammed on a scooter driving down South Kihei Road. This is simply not acceptable. Be smart, rent as many as you need so everyone can be safe. Maximum amount of riders is (2) on a 150cc. Remember to think about safety first!
Bike Lane is Not a Passing Lane
You’re driving down South Kihei Road, you approach a slow moving vehicle. You have a handful of options but you are really in a hurry to see the huge swell that is pounding Big Beach in Makena. What do you do? Most times of day, it is simply too busy to pass a car on the left. You could pass on the right in the bike lane, couldn’t you? Absolutely not! Do not pass in the bike lane. This is the #1 reason why scooter drivers crash in Maui. Passing in the bike lane limits your field of view and the distance in which you have to react should something cross your path. Also, if you attempt to pass in the bike lane you could be putting cyclists & avid joggers at risk by approaching them at such high speeds. Take your time, the beach will be there, think about safety first!
Out of GAS?
To avoid running out of gas on with your scooter rental, we recommend to fill up your gas tank if you see it below ¼ of a tank. The reason for this is, a ¼ tank is not much gasoline left. Around 10-25 minutes worth of driving. If you are staying in S.Kihei and venture to Big Beach, you would likely run out of gas on your journey back. Make sure to check the gas tank before you leave for any long rides. It is quite hot in the Maui sun when you have to push an empty scooter for miles up and down the volcanic hills to reach a gas station!
Strap it Down or Leave it!
It is pretty common to run to a store and pick up some items that are needed. It is even easier to get carried away and end up walking out with a few bags of goodies. The dilemma happens when you have more items than the storage areas on the scooter can fit. One option is to place a bag near your feet, it won’t move once you’re in place. If you still need additional room, you will need to securely strap down your bags with bungee cords or similar attachment. Do not simply place a bag of groceries on the back and take off, they will not make it to your destination and it will make a mess all over the parking lot! Strap it down or leave it behind